New details have emerged about the murder of a Massachusetts teacher. Police say 24-year-old Colleen Ritzer was stabbed to death by one of her students after school.
Ritzer, a popular math teacher at Danvers High School, was found dead in a wooded area behind the school Tuesday night. (Via NBC)
One of her students, 14-year-old Philip Chism, was charged with first-degree murder Wednesday afternoon. Police say Chism stabbed Ritzer to death with a box cutter in a school bathroom. (Via Fox News)
Chism, who recently moved to Massachusetts from Tennessee, was described by students as a shy but likeable individual.
“He’s quiet, just kept to himself. I mean, probably because he’s new to this society. But I mean, he’s a good kid. He didn’t seem like anything bad. Nothing out of the ordinary, just a quiet, normal kid.” (Via CNN)
According to The Boston Globe, on the day of the murder, Ritzer asked Chism to stay after school to discuss an upcoming test. Police have not speculated on a motive for the murder.
After Ritzer was killed, police say Chism dumped her body in the woods behind the school before skipping out on soccer practice to see the film “Blue Jasmine.” (Via ABC)
Both Chism and Ritzer were declared missing persons as of Tuesday night, and worried students conducted a lengthy search for Chism.
Police eventually found Chism walking along a highway Wednesday morning. Police arrested Chism after interviewing him and reviewing surveillance video from the scene of the crime. (Via CBS)
Students and friends paid tribute to Ritzer’s life at a candlelight vigil Wednesday evening.
“She was just a great lady and an amazing, inspiring teacher.” (Via WFXT)
Chism will be tried as adult in this case. He pleaded not guilty to the charge of murder Wednesday, and a judge granted his attorney’s request for a mental competence evaluation. Chism is being held without bail.
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